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Anti-Obama Carnival Sparks Heated Debate at Texas A&M

By: Ashlea Sigman Email
By: Ashlea Sigman Email

They were trying to get people's attention and a conservative group at Texas A&M University did just that, but maybe not in the way they wanted.

Wednesday, Texas A&M's Young Conservatives of Texas group, encouraged students to throw eggs at a large picture of Barack Obama during a campus demonstration.

It was part of what the group called an "anti-Obama carnival." Conservatives said the egg toss was symbolic of Obama's economic policies, but many in the crowd called it a personal attack.

By mid afternoon, the signs at Texas A&M were gone. The emotions were not.

"You have plenty of McCain supporters out here who think this is ridiculous. Ya'll are way out of hand," said Farren Congress, a Blinn College freshman who caught the demonstration on her way to cast an early vote.

The conservatives' anti-Obama carnival came with a "socialist on a stick Obama ring-toss," and a board with the candidate's picture on it that the group offered to let students throw eggs at called "throw away your nest egg."

"Where are his policies, you're not throwing eggs at his policies, you're throwing eggs at a picture of Obama and then you didn't even have his polices at hand. I was like what are you protesting? What are you protesting? I just see you throwing eggs at Obama," said Congress.

Conservatives say they just wanted to get people's attention, then hand them a pamphlet about Obama's economic policies.

"And in an intelligent fashion we'd like to discuss his policies cause its not Barack Obama the man that we have the problem with. Its his socialist, liberal polices that we are concerned with," said Jay Cunningham of Texas A&M's Young Conservatives of Texas group.

Although members took their carnival events down, they continued their demonstration.

"Was this the most effective means to do that? No and I promise you we will be back out here again and we will do the same event and we will have his policies on the board," said Cunningham.

However, many in the crowd wanted the conservatives to pack up completely.

"You admitted, you said that this is entirely ineffective," said a bystander. "So most people that are ineffective, they stop what they're doing until they're ready to be effective."

Conservatives say they're just exercising their first amendment rights.

"Please step up and let people who actually do support our views have a voice because right now there is no voice for conservatives because of the crowd that was surrounding me," said Cunningham.

Texas A&M University issued an official statement about the demonstration: "A university campus is a marketplace of ideas. While we found today's activity offensive and not representative of Texas A&M's core values, we certainly respect the free speech of students on our campus. We are of the opinion that there are more appropriate and constructive ways to engage in a dialogue in advance of the upcoming elections."

The Young Conservatives say they'll bring the carnival and egg toss back this Friday, but will have Obama's economic policies as the target, and not just his picture.


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